Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Organic Orcharding Classes

MOFGA Events \ Organic Orcharding Classes


A series of workshops, covering theory and hands-on practice in organic fruit tree and orchard management.

Designed for beginner to intermediate orchardists managing backyard plantings to larger orchards.

Pruning Fruit Trees

Renovating Old Apple Trees

Grafting Fruit Trees

Organic Orcharding 101 with Michael Phillips

Top Grafting Fruit Trees

Summer Orchard Care

Bud Grafting


Pruning Fruit Trees

Sat., March 10 – Locations TBD
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Fee: $50; $35 for MOFGA members
Please bring your own bag lunch

Learn to prune fruit trees to encourage vigorous growth, heavy fruit set and quality fruit yield. Collection of scion wood and storage will also be discussed.

 


Renovating Old Apple Trees

Sat., March 17 – Locations TBD
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Fee: $50; $35 for MOFGA members
Please bring your own bag lunch

The course is focused on pruning and feeding very old non-productive fruit trees in order to bring them back into fruitfulness. Instructors will employ various methods to demonstrate proper pruning of trees that have been unmanaged. Participants should dress appropriately and bring their pruners, loppers, saws and a bag lunch.

 


Grafting Fruit Trees

Sat., April 7 – Two Locations: MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity, and Bar Harbor
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Fee: $50; $40 for MOFGA members
Please bring your own bag lunch

Learn to propagate and reproduce your favorite fruit tree varieties. Instructors Jennifer Ries of Whiffletree Nursery and Anne Hallee of Rising Up Farm in the Unity workshop, and C.J. Walke, MOFGA's Organic Orchard Educator in the Bar Harbor workshop,​ will explain why to graft and will demonstrate the techniques for Whip & Tongue grafting. Participants will graft trees to take home and plant. Care for the new trees will also be discussed. Fee includes all supplies including rootstock, scionwood and handouts. Please bring a bag lunch. You will need to purchase a grafting knife in advance of this event! Any old knife will NOT do. This is the one you will need: https://www.fedcoseeds.com/ogs/search?item=8989.

 


Organic Orcharding 101 with Michael Phillips

Sat., April 14 – Common Ground Education Center, Unity
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Fee: $50; $40 for MOFGA members
Please bring your own bag lunch

Join Michael Phillips, author of The Apple Grower, for a comprehensive exploration of orchard health strategies that make disease and insect challenges doable for the organic grower, including lectures, discussions, question and answer periods inside and out. Learn what to expect in your orchard and how to manage it.

 


Summer Orchard Care

Sat., June 16
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Location: Redpath Orchard, 9 Orchard Rd., Cumberland, with C.J. Walke
Fee: $50; $35 for MOFGA members
Please bring your own bag lunch

Learn about caring for your orchard through the summer and getting your orchard to a successful harvest in the fall. Please remember to bring a lunch.

 

Workshop Schedule

10 a.m.
Introduction to organic principles
10:30 a.m.
Soil fertility and nutrient needs of fruit trees
Organic soil amendments and their application
Safe handling of nutrient materials (rock powders, granular amendments, liquids)
11 a.m.
Common orchard pests (insects and diseases)
Identification of insect pests and life cycles
Identification of disease pathogens and life cycles
11:30 a.m.
Cultural methods to deter/prevent orchard pests<
Sticky traps, pheromone traps, beneficial insects
OMRI approved materials for pest and disease control
Safe handling of pest control materials
12 noon
Lunch
12:30 p.m.
Orchard planning
Roostocks and varieties (disease resistance)
Tree planting
1 p.m.
Orchard maintenance
Pruning, training, mulching, mowing
Harvesting and record keeping
1:30 p.m.
Hands-on activities in MOFGA orchards
3 p.m.
Adjourn


Bud Grafting Workshop

Sat., August 6
North Branch Farm, Monroe, Maine, with Seth Yentes
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
$50; $35 for MOFGA members
Please bring your knives and a own bag lunch

Bud grafting is a great way to start your own fruit trees as well as many ornamentals. "Budding" uses individual buds from this year’s new growth to graft onto rootstock already set in the nursery. Taught by Seth Yentes at North Branch Farm. Seth grafts thousands of trees every year. All major tree fruit species will be covered. MOFGA will supply the buds and the rootstock. Participants should bring their own knives (available for sale here) as well as a bag lunch.


Please call the MOFGA office if you have any questions – 568-4142

Interested in a partial or full scholarship? Please fill out a scholarship application form.